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Heavy Rains Cause Flooding Problems in WNY, List of Agencies Helping Hurricane Victims

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – A flood warning has been issued for Cayuga Creek in Lancaster. The creek is expected to crest above flood stage later this afternoon, causing flooding in low lying areas in Lancaster and Alden.

An urban and small stream flood advisory remains in effect for most of Western New York. Flooding is possible in small creeks and streams and along highway underpasses.

Since the remnants of Hurricane Katrina began moving through the region last Tuesday evening, rainfall totals have ranged between two and four inches.

At the airport weather station, the 1.94 inches of rain recorded so far today broke the old record for this date of 1.91 inches set in 1950.

Route 20 at Camp Road in Hamburg has reopened to traffic after being closed during the morning rush hour because of flooding.

The heavy rain will taper off this afternoon with sunny skies returning to the area by Thursday.

Congressman Brian Higgins (D-Buffalo) provided Western New Yorkers with information on how to help Hurricane Katrina victims, and urged an outpouring of help from the region.

"My deepest sympathies go out to the victims of this tragic and deadly hurricane," Higgins said. "All of us in Western New York stand with our fellow Americans in the devastated areas and will work to bring assistance, and help rebuild from this great calamity."

Below are some key phone numbers and websites provided by Higgins' office for the latest information on the hurricane, information on how to make a donation to help with disaster relief, and how to locate a friend or relative:

Search and Rescue/Family-Friend location: * FEMA: (800) 621-FEMA (3362) or www.fema.gov

* Search and rescue emergency line for the State Office of Emergency Preparedness in Baton Rouge: (225) 925-7708; (225) 925-7709; (225) 925-3511; (225) 925-7412.

To inquire about family and friends that did not evacuate the Greater New Orleans area contact the American Red Cross: (866) 438-4636

To donate money:

* American Red Cross (800) HELP NOW (435-7669) or www.redcross.org * American Red Cross, Southeast Chapter: (800) 229-8191 * Operation Blessing (800) 436-6348 * America's Second Harvest (800) 344-8070

To donate money or volunteer:

* Adventist Community Services (800) 381-7171 * Catholic Charities, USA (703) 549-1390 * Christian Disaster Response (941) 956-5183 or (941) 551-9554 * Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (800) 848-5818 * Church World Service (800) 297-1516 * Convoy of Hope (417) 823-8998 * Lutheran Disaster Response (800) 638-3522 * Mennonite Disaster Service (717) 859-2210 * Nazarene Disaster Response (888) 256-5886 * Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (800) 872-3283 * Salvation Army (800) SAL-ARMY (725-2769) * Southern Baptist Convention -- Disaster Relief (800) 462-8657, ext. 6133 * United Methodist Committee on Relief (800) 554-8583